›› Kathryn Juricic
There is something just utterly magical about fresh cut flowers. The way their scent fills a room, the endless possibility of colour combinations, and the mood that only a vase full of fresh cut blooms can create. An indulgence? Absolutely. But for those of you like myself, flowers are one of the ways I like to “treat myself”—flower therapy if you will.
Last year, Fernwood was one of the pick-up locations and growing sites for City Fields Flower Farm, an urban multi-site flower farm that grows blooms in backyards across Victoria. As a “buy local” enthusiast, co-founder Anne Lomas developed an appreciation for locally grown flowers. “When I learned that more than 75% of our cut flowers in Canada come from overseas, I started to include them in my vegetable garden…by the end of the season I had expanded my garden to include as many flowers as I could.” City Field’s blooms are also spray-free and compost fed.
Specializing in dahlias for their long vase life, extended bloom period, and fool-proof growing reputation, City Fields’ has expanded their selection to bump up the magic factor and also help local florist access blooms that are otherwise hard to import. This season will feature the introduction of whimsical nigellas, delectable Iceland poppies, and dramatic lupines to name a few.
Borrowing from community-supported agriculture (CSA) principles, City Fields Flower Farm offers a subscription service where clients subscribe in advance of receiving the blooms. This method allows farmers to have some start-up funds to invest in supplies needed for the upcoming season. Prices range from $15-$30 a bouquet, wholesale and special orders are also available. Last year, the Fernwood pick-up location sold-out of subscriptions.
Partnering with local businesses to act as a pick-up locations for the bouquets also seemed like a perfect fit. Businesses get the benefit of increased foot traffic, cross-promotion opportunities, and the bouquets make the space more beautiful. “It was a small win-win for supporting our local economies.” says Lomas, “We are excited to be working with Parsonage Cafe this year, offering our blooms at the same 1301 Gladstone location as last year”.
For more information, check out cityfieldsflowerfarm.com.